Friday, February 11, 2005

Given my abiding interest in the subjects of honor and shame, I found this fascinating. Are other authors questioning modern notions of identity? I a couple of Charles Taylor's books on my "to read" shelf, and I suspect he talks about the issue of modern identity to some extent.

I remember when I was teaching on ancient ideas of personality using the "Who are you" question as a jumping off point. I realized that the way we think of personality these days is rather problematic. When (and how) do you really know someone today? What do you have to know about someone to say you know them? Is it even possible to know another today?

Part of the answer today seems to be in consumer choices. I remember at one point had a program called "Just Like You", where you could look at the user profiles of other people who had purchased similar products or rated products similarly to you. Thus one's identity becomes "I am the sort of person who likes [x movie] or [y book] or [z tv show]" etc.

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